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Golf

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Leishman begins $15M PGA play-offs quest

Still reeling from a poor display at the majors this year, Marc Leishman is hungry for redemption and wants to be the first Australian to win the US PGA Tour's $US15 million FedEx Cup title.

His difficult quest starts at this week's Northern Trust event in New Jersey where Leishman leads a six-strong Australian contingent at Liberty National golf course.

The Northern Trust is the first of three play-offs events which eventually decide the FedEx Cup champion who pockets a $US15 million bonus.

At the majors, Leishman missed the cut at the British Open and US PGA Championship while he was a non-factor at the Masters and US Open.

But that ignited a switch and world No.22 Leishman finished third behind winner Brooks Koepka at the recent World Golf Championships Invitational in Tennessee.

"I found something in my game at the WGC and I'm pretty confident I can continue that form," Leishman told AAP.

"I'm seeing a lot of putts go in and my irons are flying the way I want them and that breeds confidence."

At No.12, Leishman leads the Australians on the FedEx Cup standings, followed by Adam Scott (21), Jason Day (40th), Cameron Smith (79th), Aaron Baddeley (112th) and Matt Jones (115th).

Since the US PGA Tour created the FedEx Cup playoffs in 2007, no Australian has won the big prize.

An overhaul of the finals has seen the playoffs reduced from four events to three and a $US5m increase to the overall winner.

The leading points scorer after the Tour Championship finale in Atlanta, Georgia, will now pocket $US15m from a $US60m bonus pool shared by play-offs contestants.

"The next few weeks are a big opportunity; it was a disappointing year in the majors but I feel I can make up for it if I have a good play-offs," Leishman said.

The Northern Trust starts Thursday (Friday AEST) and will field the top 125 finishers on the FedEx Cup standings from the regular season.

After the Northern Trust, the top 70 in FedEx Cup points advance to the BMW Championship at Medinah in Chicago.

The BMW will then determine the top 30 who qualify for the season-ending Tour Championship.

Leishman is already assured of advancing to the Tour Championship.

Prize money for all three play-off events has been set at $US9.25m with the winner receiving $US1.665m.

--End of article--

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